Just over a month after Londoner Jason Heptonstall uploaded the now viral video that saw him race against a Circle line train and win, one wheelchair user has decided to film his own version in a bid to highlight the problems that still face disabled people travelling on London’s underground.
In a video posted by wheelchair-user Anthony Ince, we see the 43-year-old cerebral palsy-sufferer leave the train at Mansion House before embarking on the 380 metre journey to Circle line station, and next stop on the line, Cannon Street.
After navigating his way out of Mansion House and through the labyrinth of roads that lead to Cannon Street, it seems as if Ince is on course to make the train. However, after passing through the station’s ticket barriers, Ince’s journey is cut short by a flight of stairs.
With no step free access available at Cannon Street, Ince is left sitting at the top of the stairs as he watches his train pass through the station.
While Ince and the makers of the film and admit that they used some artistic licence in showing the 380-metre journey between the two stations, they said that this was necessary to show how a large majority of tube stations were still lacking when it came to access for disabled users.
Speaking to The Independent, Ince, who has featured on the blog The Free Help Guy, said that more attention needed to be paid to wheelchair standards and access and hoped the video would get the attention of London Transport bosses and encourage them to invest more money into improving facilities on the tube for those with disabilities.
He said: "It is so hard to get around London for people in wheelchairs. Sometimes the ramps on the buses don't work or the driver forgets to ask or there is no elevator at an underground station."
"You often have to strategically plan which routes are acceptable and as a result, this it takes up a whole lot of your day. Something really needs to be done to improve this."
According to Ince, access is also "an issue when it comes to access to buildings and shops that you want to go to."
Ince, who is also a DJ, said: "A lot of venues that should be accessible to me are not because they have stairs. It is more than just a transportation issue."
According to the video, only 25 per cent of London Underground stations currently have step free access and this is something that Ince and the video's creator who asked to be referred to as the TheFreeHelpGuy.
TheFreeHelpGuy said: "Whilst I'm sure upgrade plans are in place and step free access across the network will improve given time. It pains me to think how much of a struggle it is for Anthony and other wheelchair users to get around the city. I love London, but this current situation is a real injustice for a huge amount of people"
Asking Ince whether he had any plans for further videos to highlight the difficulties disabled people face in London on a day-to-day basis, he said that "nothing had been confirmed" but he did hope that he "could get together again with TheFreeHelpGuy, to make people see things in a different more logical light."Reuse content